Leopard's Prey by Suzanne Arruda
There is never a shortage of adventure in Suzanne Arruda's Jade Del Cameron mystery series. Set in colonial Africa in 1920, readers of this series can without a doubt always count on a lot of action, an intriguing background murder to puzzle out, and a genuine feeling of being right there in the time and place on the Kenyan plains.
The reader gets up close and personal with the exotic land of Africa at a time when wild animals ran free, and when native tribes such as the Maasai and Kikuyu had still not fallen into the hands of the white man. As you read, you will smell the hot arid African air, glimpse a sky full of twinkling stars come sundown, and will drive Safari style along a long dusty road in a jeep viewing herds of wild giraffe, buffalo, elephants or zebra.
The star of this delightful series, Jade Del Cameron, is a bit of a too independent rifle-toting, sarcastic spitfire, complete with her own motorcycle that she uses to take her pet cheetah name Biscuit out for a run. Within the four novels so far, one never knows what trouble or adventures she will encounter; anything from Big Game Hunting, outrages of Elephant Poaching, vacations to Morocco with her mother, kidnappings, murders, interactions with the local natives, or as in this new installment, soaring high in the sky with her love interest Sam Featherstone as he instructs her in flying lessons.
The reader always learns something new about Africa in the 1920's with each new installment of the series, and I can only say these stories are very enjoyable, delightful, and engaging. There is usually a sideline murder to solve but they almost seem to be irrelevant. The ongoing scenarios of the usual crowd of characters that appear in each story are what drive the books and allow the reader to get addicted to them. An additional fun feature, are the quotes that are inserted over each chapter head. Jade Del Cameron's way of making a living in Africa is being a professional reporter for a travel magazine called The Traveler. Quotes and paragraphs from her articles are placed in the front of each chapter allowing the reader to also get firsthand information on what is happening locally. In Leopard's Prey, wonderful Maasai myth and culture tidbits appear.
If you enjoy a light and easy simple mystery series with quaint characters that you can rely on to always make you smile, this series will not disappoint. Murder, romance, adventure, action, exotic locale....what more do you need for a few hours of sheer entertainment? Leopard's Prey, the fourth book in the series still holds steady to show us the author is still going strong and has not relented in giving us the goods. I highly recommend this book as well as the previous three in the set, and I eagerly await book five which should hopefully gives us some answers to the cliff hanger Arruda left us with on the last page.